How to connect an Xbox One controller to a PC

Retire the oversized keyboard. Here's how to game on PC with an Xbox controller

Microsoft’s consoles have always shipped to consumers with the highest quality gaming controllers and the Xbox One is no different. Less of a complete overhaul of the Xbox 360 gamepad and more of a refinement, the Xbox One’s controller is perfect for any and all games.

So, what if you game on a PC and crave something other than a mouse and keyboard? Or want to try SteamOS? We’ve got some good news — the Xbox One controller supports Windows PC and setting it up only takes a few minutes. Microsoft’s official drivers allow any Xbox One controller to work with PC games that have controller support.

How to connect an Xbox One controller to PC

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To help you play all of your favorite PC games with your favorite Xbox One controller, we’ve put together this simple step-by-step walkthrough. Before we begin, you should know that there are three ways to do this: USB, wireless, or Bluetooth. You should also make sure your controller is updated with the latest Firmware.

Connect your Xbox One controller using USB

Step 1: Use a micro USB cable to connect your Xbox One controller to your PC. If you have a wireless controller, simply use your charging cable. If you have a wired controller, well, you can just plug it in like you would with your console.

Operating system specific limitations

Windows 10: You can have eight controllers connected at once. With chat headsets connected, that number decreases to four and with stereo headsets, it drops to two.

Windows 7/8: You can only connect four controllers at once. No headset support.

Connect your Xbox One Controller Wirelessly

  • Step 1: Purchase the Xbox Wireless Adapter ($25).
  • Step 2: Connect Xbox Wireless Adapter to an open USB port on your PC. Complete the setup process for the adapter as outlined here.
  • Step 3: Press the Guide button (Xbox logo) on your controller to turn it on.
  • Step 4: Press the sync button on top of the controller until the Xbox logo begins flashing (it’s the small button just right of LB).
  • Step 5: Press the small sync button on the adapter. Once the Xbox logo on the controller stops flashing and turns solid, you’re good to go.

Connect your Xbox One Controller using Bluetooth

Some Xbox One controllers support Bluetooth for wireless connection. To tell if your controller does, look at the plastic around the Xbox logo. Is it part of the face of the controller? If so, it has Bluetooth. But if the plastic surrounding the logo matches and leads into the triggers/bumpers, it doesn’t support Bluetooth. Bluetooth compatible Xbox One controllers came bundled with the Xbox One S and have been sold ever since. So if you purchased a new controller after August 2016, there’s a good chance it has Bluetooth. Look at the images below as an example.

  • Step 1: Navigate to Settings on your PC and click Devices.
  • Step 2: Click the Bluetooth settings option to make sure your Bluetooth is turned on. Stay in this menu.
  • Step 3: Press the Guide button and then the sync button on your controller. The logo should start blinking.
  • Step 4: On your PC, choose “Add Bluetooth or other device,” and click Bluetooth. This tells your PC to look for your controller.
  • Step 5: Once it shows up, choose Xbox Wireless Controller to finish the pairing process.
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